Don’t you hate it when you ignore your gut intuition about something and realize you REALLY should have listened! It happens to everyone at some time or another and yesterday was my day, in spades.
Here’s the story. I went to a special sale by an organization that rescues fabric remnants, bits of tile and leather, ends of wallpapers, etc. I was the first in line (!) with a 50-minute wait, but I knew it was worth it. I have found many lovely things here before.
Well, when I got in I made a beeline for the jewelry which they don’t normally have. Sadly it was all generic, low-end, newer costume pieces. They did have a few small baggies priced at $1-2. But nothing looked outstanding in the bags and my gut said “Leave ’em behind.” Well, after selecting some fabric I wondered back to that area and perused the jewelry again. And this time I decided, “Let’s take a gamble!”
As it turns out one bag was mostly bits and pieces to repurpose. A few pearls from a necklace. A 50s box clasp. A broken necklace. Etc. Nothing sellable and most not even worth saving.
The only good thing in that bag was a sterling silver and malachite screwback earring from Mexico. Just one! Humph.
The other bag had three vintage bracelets. One was marked Trifari, but had two missing rhinestones. One was junky. And the other is nice enough to sell but nothing stupendous. The clasp is marked sterling and I’m going to test to see if the metal beneath the copper finish is sterling as well. No maker’s mark.
So overall, disappointing. Should have left them behind. Hopefully this bracelet will redeem it.
But wait…there’s more. As I was selecting some fabric remnants, I spotted one that I thought was pretty and had over three yards. It was hemmed and I assumed it was one of those pieces originally hanging in a designer showroom.
But something was off about it. The fabric didn’t seem as crisp as it should have been and seem a tad faded. But one of the sweet volunteers was talking to me and remarked on how pretty it was (true) and such a good value at $6 and I ignored its “offness” and decided to go for it.
At home I unfurled the whole piece and found it had dozens of faint, little stains. (I’ve washed it and they did not come out.) Apparently it had been used in another life as a tablecloth. Stained it’s a nonsellable piece for me. I haven’t decided yet if I will donate it or use it as a picnic blanket. So disappointed.
I also bought a vintage x-acto knife for 50 cents. I liked the graphics on the box and envisioned a knife with a cool bakelite handle. Alas the knife was in rough shape and no bakelite handle. Rats!
I did find buy a few other fabric pieces…
Now I did listen to my gut on the Panama mola fabric art they were featuring at this sale. I found all the pieces priced too high (for a reseller) given their small size and simplicity (for example, the lion was $25). The two pieces I’ve sold in the past had much more detail and craftsmanship. I gave these all a pass.
But overall I wish I had been more discerning this visit. I was so pumped about sourcing at this sale, particularly as I have been curbing my buying lately, and I let myself down. I didn’t choose wisely enough.
Of course I didn’t spend much $$ either and when all is said and done I should come out ahead, but still should have listened to my gut!
This ever happen to you?
A few years ago I saw a vintage collection of paper doll clothes with a couple paper dolls beautifully cut out and framed – about 12×16 at Salvation Army. Passed on it. Still regret it.
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Oh Kathleen…that sounds fabulous!! I would have totally loved that too. – Karen